Where might drones make deliveries? One project in Texas suggests the suburbs make a lot of sense for such deliveries:
Flytrex, which specializes in on-demand, ultrafast delivery for food and retail, is bringing food and grocery orders via drone to front and backyards.
According to a release, the service will be based in Granbury, in a partnership with restaurant chain Brinker International, home of Chili’s Grill & Bar, Maggiano’s Little Italy, and two virtual brands: It’s Just Wings and Maggiano’s Italian Classics.
The service is operating in cooperation with longtime partner Causey Aviation Unmanned under a newly granted Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) waiver allowing a delivery radius of one nautical mile – reaching thousands of potential homes. Eligible households can order food via the Flytrex app.
Their focus is on the suburbs, where on-demand delivery has previously been viewed as commercially unviable, since traditional couriers can make only two deliveries per hour in such areas. They have a video showing a drone at work on YouTube.
Granbury is a small town of just over 11,000 residents roughly 30 miles southwest of Fort Worth and on the edge of the Dallas metropolitan area.
More broadly, it is interesting to note that the population densities of Granbury and the suburbs are what might make delivery by drone viable. Americans tend to like suburbs and driving. But, this is not as good for delivering food or other items. The same kind of space Americans like for their suburban homes does not work well with quick deliveries.
How many deliveries can drones make in an hour compared to vehicles? Are there also advantages to suburban deliveries from not having to encounter many tall buildings or obstacles?
If drones are better for suburban deliveries, are suburbanites open to drones flying above their homes to bring them things they have ordered? Suburbanites also like a connection to nature and drones may not provide that if they are flying or they can be heard above homes. The same drones that enable a consumer lifestyle do not necessarily fit with an image of quiet suburban properties.